Over 200 Killed, Hundreds Injured in Series of Blasts at Sri Lankan Hotels and Churches

A series of eight explosions rocked Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka as Christians began Easter Sunday celebrations, with over 200 killed and hundreds injured, media reported, citing police.

According to RT, the blasts started at around 8:45am local time at St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo and St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a Catholic-majority town outside of the capital. The Zion Church in Batticaloa on the eastern coast was also targeted. At around the same time, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury five-star hotels were also hit, police confirmed.

Two more explosions happened later in the day, targeting two more locations in Colombo. All attacks appear to have been coordinated.

At least 207 people were killed, Reuters reported, citing police. More than 450 were injured in the attacks.

 ‘Body parts strewn all over’

According to Press TV, Sri Lankan MP Harsha de Silva tweeted that there had been “foreigners” among the casualties. He said he had been to one of the churches and one of the hotels and seen “horrible scenes,” adding, “I saw many body parts strewn all over. Emergency crews are at all locations in full force.”

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said he was shocked by the incidents and appealed for calm.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera tweeted that the attacks appeared to be a “well-coordinated attempt to create murder, mayhem & anarchy.”

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe condemned the “cowardly attacks” and urged Sri Lankans to remain “united and strong.”

R.S

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